Community service has always had a special meaning for Sobins Kuriakose, an alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences who is now a skills and livelihoods specialist.
“I was working on issues related to child and youth development, relief and rehabilitation after the Gujarat earthquake, and the displaced people of the Sardar Sarovar Project during my college days in Vadodara. I wanted to pursue a an MBA or master’s in social work. I read up on the TISS alumni working in the sector, their contribution and their ability to lead a change. During those days, TISS was offering MA in social work with specialisation in social welfare administration and had only 25 seats. This is when I joined,” says Kuriakose.
Currently, he is engaged as a skills and livelihood specialist for the National Urban Livelihoods Mission with the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation. “My job includes policy drafting, preparing guidelines for poverty alleviation programmes, engaging with state governments to improve the performance of the programmes, provide inputs to the ministry on ways to improve the service delivery, monitoring and evaluation,” says Kuriakose.
For Navaneeta Majumder, (2007-09 batch), joining the social sector was all about pursuing her interest. Before joining the institute, Majumder completed her bachelor’s in political science from Banaras Hindu University. “I came in contact with a lot of students and my seniors who were working in this sector and developed an interest. After completing a master’s degree from the institute, I joined the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust. My work here involved conducting a pilot study on the acceptability of IUCD-375 in public health centres and district hospitals across six states in India and social marketing of health products among the underprivileged,” she says.
Rajan Kumar Singh, another allumnus, says, “I worked in Kashmir (with families of former militants) and at a village in Chhattisgarh where corruption was rampant in the MGNREGA and other government schemes. This helped us in the theoretical understanding of social and development issues.” Singh started Pratigya, an independent youth movement that works in helping children get access to education and gives livelihood training to urban youth.
Courses on offer at TISS
MA social work with ­children and families
MA social work in ­criminolgy and justice
MA social work in disabilities studies and action
MA health administration
Master’s of public health in health policy, ­economics and finance
MA in development ­studies
MA in women’s studies